Bread & Pizza Italian Regional Recipes

Classic Italian Panzerotti

Half-way between a calzone and a dumpling, panzerotti are perhaps the most famous street food in Italy. They can be baked or fried, and with a wide array of fillings, but the most common version is the one I present you in this recipe – mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil leaves.

The South of Italy is home to the first panzerotti, with Campania and Puglia both claiming fatherhood. Nowadays, though, panzerotti are a delicacy known everywhere: one of the must-do things in Milan is to get a panzerotto at Luini’s, in sight of the Duomo.

Serves: 15 panzerotti | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

  • Mozzarella: 450 g
  • (optional) Ham: 400 g
  • Pizza dough: 280 g
  • Tomato sauce: 200 g
  • Basil, fresh: a handful
  • Oregano, dried: a handful
  • Salt: to taste
  • Seed oil for deep-frying


Heat up the seed oil in a large pan.

Dice the mozzarella and the ham in small cubes, then mix them in a bowl along with the tomato sauce, the basil, the oregano and a pinch of salt.

Lightly flour a rolling pin and a flat surface and roll out the dough. Use a dough cutter to cut off discs with a diameter of 20 cm.

Tip: Making your dough is easy, and it’s less time-consuming than most think. If you really don’t feel up to it, though, no worries: you can use ready-made pizza dough.

Place a spoonful of the tomato and mozzarella stuffing in the middle of each disc. Close the disc on itself, folding it in half around the stuffing, aiming for a big D-shaped dumpling. Press together the edges of the dough, first with your fingertips and then with the prongs of a fork; this will prevent the stuffing from spilling outside of your panzerotti.

Dip the panzerotti in the hot oil, making sure to turn them so they can brown on each side. When the panzerotti are ready, make sure to lay them down on some kitchen paper, to absorb the oil they are coated in. Serve warm.

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